Eliza Daggett

Official Scorer
  • Card series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: White Stockings
  • League: National League

Eliza G. Green Williams Brown Daggett (1851-1926) was hailed in her hometown in 1920 as “the woman who has made Attleboro famous.” As the first female in the Bay State to seek mayoral office, Eliza was, indeed, noteworthy. But it was her surreptitious labors for Al Spalding under her maiden name that earned her a place in the annals of baseball as well as politics.

Al Spalding’s White Stockings (Cubs) had many a fractious player – “kickers” in the jargon of the day. Spalding needed someone to bring a sane, objective and expert eye to the task of recording for posterity the hits, errors and miscellanea of the club’s performance; someone impervious to the importuning of players lobbying for favorable rulings from the scorekeeper. He found what he needed in a lady who lived across from the ballpark, a woman who was an avid fan and an inveterate record-keeper. Eliza scored every home game and she had the cool, detached manner of a secret agent. Spalding recruited her to be his anonymous official scorer and, for a decade (1882-91), Eliza sat with the players’ wives, keeping meticulous score and passing judgement on hits and errors – even settling player arguments – but never betraying her professional role. The National League officials to whom Eliza dispatched her score cards never knew that “E.G. Green” was a woman, allowing Spalding to avoid the scandal that would have ensued had it been known that a woman held such an important job in the sports world of Nineteenth Century America.

  • Eliza was able to avoid detection completely, even from club-omniscient captain Adrian Anson, despite the fact that Eliza usually performed her duties while sitting beside Anson’s wife.
  • Apparently, Eliza kept the secret even from her family. Her son Charles recounts that he would mail the scorecards to Major League Baseball for his mother, without ever knowing the contents or purpose of the packages.
  • Daggett was a devoted suffragist, a friend of Susan B. Anthony, and a tireless campaigner for the Republican Party long before seeking office for herself
  • Her son Charles Williams was team treasurer for the Cubs during their championship season of 1908

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